by Ben Cohen
Australian/British journalist John Pilger is an important voice for the subjects of the American empire. His language may be incendiary, but his words ring true, particularly for those on the receiving end of U.S 'freedom' experiments. Here he is on U.S elections. He doesn't mince his words:
By John Pilger
The former president of Tanzania Julius Nyerere once asked, "Why
haven't we all got a vote in the US election? Surely everyone with a TV
set has earned that right just for enduring the merciless bombardment
every four years." Having reported four presidential election
campaigns, from the Kennedys to Nixon, Carter to Reagan, with their
Zeppelins of platitudes, robotic followers and rictal wives, I can
sympathise. But what difference would the vote make? Of the
presidential candidates I have interviewed, only George C Wallace,
governor of Alabama, spoke the truth. "There's not a dime's worth of
difference between the Democrats and Republicans," he said. And he was
What struck me, living and working in the United States, was that
presidential campaigns were a parody, entertaining and often grotesque.
They are a ritual danse macabre of flags, balloons and bullshit,
designed to camouflage a venal system based on money power, human
division and a culture of permanent war.
Travelling with Robert Kennedy in 1968 was eye-opening for me. To
audiences of the poor, Kennedy would present himself as a saviour. The
words "change" and "hope" were used relentlessly and cynically. For
audiences of fearful whites, he would use racist codes, such as "law
and order". With those opposed to the invasion of Vietnam, he would
attack "putting American boys in the line of fire", but never say when
he would withdraw them. That year (after Kennedy was assassinated),
Richard Nixon used a version of the same, malleable speech to win the
presidency. Thereafter, it was used successfully by Jimmy Carter,
Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and the two Bushes. Carter promised a
foreign policy based on "human rights" - and practised the very
opposite. Reagan's "freedom agenda" was a bloodbath in central America.
Clinton "solemnly pledged" universal health care and tore down the last
safety net of the Depression.
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